Ap­pren­tice ex­clu­sive

KAR­REN BRADY and CLAUDE LIT­TNER from tv’s The Ap­pren­tice tell vic­to­ria Young how to suc­ceed at in­ter­views and at work

Woman & Home - - Editor's Letter -

How to nail that in­ter­view!

“Re­mem­ber that peo­ple do busi­ness with peo­ple – not skill sets!”

Our bril­liant colum­nist Kar­ren Brady is vice-chair­man of West ham United Foot­ball Club and an aide to Lord su­gar on The Ap­pren­tice. she is mar­ried to foot­baller paul peschisolido, lives in the West Mid­lands and Lon­don, and has a son and a daugh­ter.

The big­gest mis­take peo­ple make when it comes to nail­ing an in­ter­view is not enough re­search. they turn up not hav­ing both­ered to spend time learn­ing about the busi­ness or the chal­lenges it faces, what it does well and what it needs to im­prove. that’s an im­me­di­ate fail.

There’s a lot you can do to pre­pare. look on­line for an­nual reports. if the busi­ness is a shop, or has premises, go, visit. Find out who’s who at the com­pany and who the di­rec­tors are – and who their com­peti­tors are.

In in­ter­views, I ask one ques­tion. that is, “tell me some­thing about my busi­ness that i don’t know.” if they’ve done their re­search, they will have an an­swer to that ques­tion and it’s an im­me­di­ate in­di­ca­tion of whether they re­ally want the job. only 50% make it past that first ques­tion.

Don’t be afraid to be your­self. re­mem­ber, peo­ple do busi­ness with peo­ple, not skill sets! even if you have the skills nec­es­sary to do a job, you need to have the per­son­al­ity. go with the mind­set that this is your op­por­tu­nity to sell your­self. try not to be ner­vous – talk­ing about your­self should be your spe­cial­ist sub­ject!

an in­ter­view is not an op­por­tu­nity to trip some­one up. it’s a chance for a prospective em­ployer to lis­ten to who some­one is, how they will fit in and what they are good at. Peo­ple of­ten for­get that busi­ness own­ers want the best peo­ple pos­si­ble work­ing for them. if you ex­plain with con­fi­dence what you do and how you will fit in, very of­ten you will win the job.

Dress for the en­vi­ron­ment you are go­ing into. if it’s a job at a bank, avoid flip-flops! And if it’s a cre­ative agency, don’t wear a cor­po­rate suit. whether you are dress­ing up or down, you should look smart, clean and pre­sentable. Avoid too much make-up or jew­ellery – aim for sim­ple el­e­gance.

If you don’t know the an­swer to a ques­tion, try and turn it around. use it as a chance to talk about some­thing that you do know about and say, “i don’t know the an­swer to that, but what i do is X…”

An in­ter­view to be a vol­un­teer or a trustee is slightly dif­fer­ent. the cause is very im­por­tant and the role is of­ten un­paid, so it’s cru­cial to con­vey your pas­sion and in­ter­est for the or­gan­i­sa­tion. Also, re­search what po­lice checks or doc­u­ments you might need; see if you can or­gan­ise them your­self, which might make it eas­ier for them to say “yes”.

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